Wednesday, December 28, 2011


HEALTH CARE IN SOME HOSPITALS - Spiritual Care Services at West Virginia University Hospitals-East’s Jefferson Memorial Hospital provides emotional and spiritual support to patients, their families, hospital staff and volunteers.  An integral part of the health care team, volunteer chaplain associates representing many faiths are available to offer spiritual and emotional support, and listen with openness and understanding.  “We believe that spirituality is important for the health and well-being of our patients and staff,” said Arlene Fernandez-Anderson, executive resident at Jefferson Memorial Hospital.  This hospital has also established a Spiritual Worship Service at 1 p.m. every Sunday.  The service is held in the chapel and is open to patients, visitors, family members, staff and the community.

 However, this trend to establish Spiritual Care Services at hospitals is not shared or followed around the world; for example in the town of Ambato, Ecuador, the editor of the newspaper El Heraldo reported that although the religious sentiment and spirituality is intrinsic to the individual and collective personality of the South American peoples, the Ecuadorian government has an attitude incompatible with these principles and has begun to close the small chapels in hospitals, attacking the spiritual feeling of the people.  “The hospital chapel has always been a spiritual haven in which people find consolation for their physical and moral ailments, and that hospitals are places that focus on the overall health of humans,” the editor says.

To give emotional and spiritual support to those dealing with critical illness in time of need or when requested it is very important because religious rituals may promote healthful behaviours.  Spiritual care boosts emotions and enables individuals to recover from illness. Physicians should not ignore the growing number of studies that show prayer and spiritual cares promotes health.  They should consider the needs of the 'whole person' not just the body and mind.

The organization of Conscious Doctors is one of friendship and the inter-exchange of medical experiences between doctors with the purpose of purifying professional medical activities by supporting spiritual consciousness. ... A conscious doctor is a person who knows that we are not the body but the living soul.  S/he knows the body is a gift from God, a divine instrument apt for spiritual progress and to become a first-class human being. ... S/he is a person who knows the valuable contribution of the Vedas, of the process of yoga, and the need to associate with natural energy (clean water, healthy breathing, natural spaces, etc,) ... defends the environment, advising the avoidance of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and genetically-modified organisms.

Śrīla Bhakti Aloka Paramadvaiti Mahārāja :
The Vedic Wisdom Collection
“Conscious Doctors”

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